|'A Place to Dream' 5x7 pastel ©Karen Margulis|
"You must try to match your colors as nearly as you can to those you see before you, and you must study the effects of light and shade on nature's own hues and tints. " William Merritt Chase
Trees are not always green. Even green trees. The color of things are effected by the light and conditions. When we resort to using only the local color or the colors that we know an object to be...we miss out on the opportunity to capture a moment in time....to paint the colors of that very particular place and time.
This realization was one of those AHA moments for me. How often do we choose colors based on what we think the color is supposed to be without really paying attention or really seeing the true colors? We could look at this same meadow all day long and the colors would always be changing. The trees and grass are supposed to be green but they may never really look like the 'crayon box green' that we often associate with grass and foliage.
My assignment this summer is to get outside and study nature. I want to really pay attention to the way the light effects the colors I am seeing. I will be painting a lot outside this summer. When I am not painting I will be looking. I will be making mental notes.
Here is a challenge for summer: Make it a point to get outside or at least sit inside and look out the window and paint nature from life. Once a week is good. More is better. At the end of the summer you will see the growth in your paintings especially in how you see color. Let's report back at the end of the summer and share what we have learned.